Shazam for Mac is Cool and Creepy at the Same Time

by Nikolozi Meladze

A few days ago, I saw in my newsfeed that Shazam released an app for Mac. The app is designed to run in the background, monitoring all sounds via the Mac’s built-in microphone. Once it detects a track you are playing it pops up a notification showing the track title and the artist name.

Out of curiosity I installed Shazam on my MacBook Pro just to see what it does exactly, while thinking that I’d remove it within a day or two. But now, I’m considering keeping it running in the background.

It’s amazing how well this works. All tracks that I played from Spotify were detected correctly. After I played Asphalt 8 on my iPad, I checked Shazam log, all background tracks of the game were listed there. Later on, when I was watching A Long Way Down, again it detected all the tracks played in the movie.

All this is cool, but it’s creepy at the same time. Shazam is monitoring all the conversations in the room where your mac is. And all the recorded audio is sent back to their servers. So, it comes down to whether you trust Shazam that they won’t breach your privacy.

One last thought, all Macs have a green LED indicator letting the user know when the built-in camera active. It would be cool to have a similar LED that could act as a reminder that an app running on your mac is using the built-in mic. It doesn’t even have to be a separate indicator. The same camera LED can simply turn blue indicating that the microphone is active (though, this could be confusing for some users thinking that their camera is active).